Udang Saus Mentega: Butter Prawns

Indonesian butter prawns, popular in the Southeast Asian Chinese community. We've added a twist to the classic udang saus mentega recipe.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Indonesian cuisine is rife with Chinese influences, which has inspired dishes such as mie goreng, bakso, siomay, and this dish: udang goreng saus mentega (butter prawns, or fried prawns in butter sauce). All these dishes are very popular and are served not only in Chinese restaurants, but everywhere in Indonesia, including among street vendors. In fact, many Indonesians are unaware that some “typical Indonesian” dishes are actually Chinese in origin, as Chinese culture has been so well-assimilated into local culture.

As the majority of Indonesians are Muslim, Chinese pork dishes are rarely available (except within the non-Muslim Chinese community). Hence, pork is often substituted with beef, chicken or seafood.


Udang saus mentega is a crowd favourite in Chinese eateries or local seafood places. The main ingredient for this dish is prawn, but the recipe works for chicken or fish as well. As butter is a luxury item in Indonesia, it is often substituted with margarine; but if it’s available, nothing can beat luscious, creamy butter for this recipe. 

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Udang Saus Mentega: Butter Prawns

Udang Saus Mentega: Butter Prawns

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Fish & Seafood
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


This recipe is for an Indonesian variant of butter prawns, a popular dish within the Southeast Asian Chinese community. Unlike the Chinese version, this dish incorporates ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce.


  • 500 gr fresh prawn, deveined (leave the head intact).
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped.
  • 1 slice fresh ginger (around 1 cm), peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled, sliced into small wedges
  • 0.5 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion for garnish

Udang Saus Mentega ingredients


  1. Wash the prawns in cold running water, drain and keep in the fridge while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat, then deep fry the prawn in batches, making sure that the prawns are coated in the oil. This should take about 2 minutes for each side, or until the prawn turns pink. Set aside.
  3. In a clean wok, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil and butter over medium heat, and then add the sliced onions. Saute until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add garlic and ginger, saute until fragrant (around 3 minutes).
  5. Add pepper powder, salt, 2 tbsp water, Worcestershire sauce and oyster sauce. Mix for around 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat.
  6. Add the fried prawns and mix it with the sauce until well combined.
  7. Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with chopped spring onions.


  • Always choose the freshest prawn to get the best flavour.
  • Sprinkle the prawn with lemon juice and wash thoroughly to remove the smell.

Keywords: Non-spicy

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